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Michael Shermer News/Business. Michael Shermer. (2011) Author Michael Shermer ('The Believing Brain From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies'). New. (CC)

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00:30:00

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PG-13

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Port 5678

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mpeg2video

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mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Stephen 6, Lennon 6, Us 4, New York 3, Pennsylvania 2, Colbert 2, Michael Shermer 2, John Lennon 2, Colbert Superpac 2, Kevin 1, United Nations 1, Kase 1, Nonscience 1, Marcel 1, Wgbh 1, Lucy 1, Media Access Group 1, Fec 1, America 1, Expensivement 1,
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  Comedy Central    The Colbert Report    Michael Shermer  News/Business. Michael Shermer.  (2011)  
   Author Michael Shermer ('The Believing Brain From Ghosts and...  

    July 11, 2011
    11:30 - 12:00am PDT  

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>> jon: that's our show, join us tomorrow night at 11:00. kid rock is going to be here. here is your moment of zen. >> the defense is sloppy and these could have been asked
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the first three times they called him to the stand. this defense is like a fart in a blizzard. captioning sponsored by comedy central captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> stephen: tonight surprising revelations about the beatles. they may have run out of new formats in which you must rebuy all their music. and now the natural gas industry tries to counter bad press. i suggest blaming the gas on the dog dog. slav (laughter) >> then i sit down with the founding publisher of skeptic magazine, or so he claims (laughter) >> a new study found that men like to cuddle and another new study shows that men will say anything to dpet a researcher into bed. this is "the colbert report." (cheers and applause) captioning sponsored by comedy central ( theme song playing ) ( applause )
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(cheers and applause) >> stephen, stephen, stephen! stephen, stephen, stephen! >> stephen: wow! >> stephen, stephen, stephen! (cheers and applause) >> stephen: welcome to the report, everybody! good to have you with us. i got to tell you, that chant -- that chant was so good, that if i did not know better i would have thought you just practiced that. (laughter) nation, i hope you had a great fourth of july. i did. i blowed up [bleep] real good. (cheers and applause) i celebrated with my annual fireworks show. i like to make it big enough to be seen from england. sends a message. (laughter)
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but enough about me, folks. let's get to the big news, me. you see before the break the fec gave me permission to form colbert superpac and collect unlimited donations. when i merged from that crowd my g-string was stuffed with dollar bills. and i wasn't even wearing a g-string when i started. so thanks to whoever donated that. and the media reaction has been overwhelming. with headlines like colbert superpac pushes the limits of election law. cole pert superpac good for government and good for us, and colbert is a superpac la boeuf over transformers. (applause) >> stephen: no surprise. no surprise, my superpac and the transformer series have a lot in common. i can also rake in millions of dollars for no apparent reason. so -- (cheers and applause) >> stephen: folks, hogging
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the space a little bit there. so folks if you have not done so already go over to colbert superpac.com and sign up. so far over 94,000 of you have become members. and trust me, and one person clap -- and trust me, no, no, it's too late. and trust me, i will only use your e-mail addresses for good. you'll be buried under av an avalanche of spam not seen since the 1968 explosion of the hormel factory. (applause) now the supreme court's decision in the citizens united case allows for unlimited donations. and as you can see, on the colbert superpac tote board we have so far raised somewhere between 100 and our goal of infinite dollars. (laughter) (cheers and applause)
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>> stephen: so somewhere in here. come on. guys, look at that. we're so close to infinite dollars. (laughter) >> stephen: so go to colbert superpac.com. become a member and donate because there are countless conservative issues and candidates deserve the kind of support that only we can provide. (cheers and applause) >> stephen: nation, i don't have to tell you we have an energy crisis on our hands. even our most volatile source of fuel lasts only five hours. that's why i am such a huge supporter of hydro fracking. the drilling process that blasts pressurized water, sand and chemicals below the earth's surface to break up rock and release natural gas. it's like giving the earth an alka sellinger if the alka sellinger shattered your internal organs so oil company kos harvest your juices.
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(laughter) >> stephen: now folks there is good news on the fracking front. because 1 week ago new york governor andrew como announced that he wants to lift the ban on fracking in this state. and i say fair's fair. after all he just signed a bill saying gay couples could legally frack each other. why can't energy companies -- (cheers and applause) >> stephen: thank you. yeah, you see. these people are angry too. why can't energy companies drill in our backyard. new york -- (laughter) >> stephen: oh yeah, i went there. i live there. now it turns out new york is over the northern part of what's call the marcel us shale formation and fracking it will help free us of dependence on foreign oil. you see america has two saudi arabia's worth of oil in the form of natural gas.
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two saudi arabia's worth of oil so put that into perspective, that's as much oil as six iraqs or one side of sonic tater tots. my only worry, folks, my only worry is we will become two dependent on ourselves and end up invading pennsylvania. that place is a quagmire full of religious extremists and fanatics. unfortunately -- (applause) unfortunately hydro fracking has come under fire for causing other things to come under hire. >> these chemicals which are very dangerous neurotoxins and carcinogens and the gas itself migrate into the aquifers and you get this kind of situation where people can all of a sudden light their water on fire. >> i say this is an improvement. what would you rather have in your kevin, a boring old water faucet or a built-in creme brule maker. and that's just -- this is just the beginning of the
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anti-frack attacks out there. last year the pennsylvania department of environmental protection cited one fracking company, talisman energy with 145 violations such as improper disposal of drill cuttings and fuel spills. but talisman has found a way to countertheir image problem by releasing this actual colouring book to educate kids about how great fracking is. it's called tallist -- talisman terry's energy adventure starring talisman terry the friendly frackasaarus. the funnest energy extraction based children's character since massey cole's mountaintop mining manny whose head blown off so they can get at his valuable brain coal. now in talisman's colouring book terry says natural gas is one of the cleanest, safest and most useful energy sources.
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and that once a well is closed, the land is reclaimed and returned to the way it was before talisman came to drill. you see before drilling, after drilling. (laughter) >> stephen: it actually gets better. that rainbow was trapped underground. but the fracking set it free. unless that's not a rainbow but a geyser of highly combustable neurotoxins. in which case, kids, will you want to color it brown. but folks, it's not just hard facts like this. that, this colouring book also tugs at the heart strings. because as terry says natural gas is created from organic material like the dinosaur. pictured right here. now keep in mind, terry is a dinosaur. and he's encouraging us to use the remains of his own dead relatives to heat our homes. and folks, i have uncovered some bonus pages that show the rest of terry's
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emotional journey. here's terry driving home from work grieve stricten as the goes of his grandmother billows from his tailpipe. (applause) and mare's terry staring into his own haggard reflection surrounded by the condemning stares of his violated ancestors, then driven mad by guilt terry decides to take his own life by stepping into shot we are, lighting a cigarette and letting the flammable frack water end his pain. (cheers and applause) and, folks, there's a happy ending because millions of years after he's buried kids use the gas produced by terry's fossillized remains to cook hot dogs. by the way, kids, where those hot dogs came from is a whole other colouring book. and just as haunting. we'll be right back. (cheers and applause)
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>> stephen: welcome back, everybody. nation, thank you, folks. folks, reviewers all know that i never rush to judgement. i like to savor my condemnations. this is tip of the hat, wag of the finger. (cheers and applause)
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folks, i am a lifelong fan of the beatlesing especially their early stuff. they kind of lost me after they got all freaky with that i want to hold your hand. of course everybody had their favorite there was paul the cute one, george the quiet one, ringo the ringo one, and john, the conservative one. jim. >> john lennon, the voice of conservatives? it could have happened a long time friend says lennon's politics were right-leaning later in life. saying lennon was a ronald reagan fan and loved arguing with his friends. his politics fell left of centre. >> aha!. we got a beatle. >> that's why i'm giving a tip of my lat to closet republican john lennon. >> (cheers and applause) >> folks, this claim is rock solid. after all it comes from a guy who works for lennon for over a year based on a single conversation with lennon 31 years ago where lennon said he might vote
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for reagan instead of carter. folks, i cannot wait to rub this in the face of all those peaknik hippies who have been singing lennon songs in their anarchist pan sexual pot smoking drum circle. because conservative values run throughout lennon's song. lucy in the sky with diamonds was just a coded message secretly endorsing supply-side economics because sooner or later lucy's sky diamonds would trickle down. (laughter) >> and obviously when john sang i am the eggman i am the walrus goo goo g'joob, he meant tort reform? (applause) so lennon was a conservative unless he comes on to my show and debates me otherwise. if he doesn't, he is a coward. next, a wag of my finger to bbadu.com which is to the a
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social network for fans of erykah badu t say european social networking site with 120 million members which conducted a poll that ranked germanee as the world's least funny country. what? germannee not funny, really? they have a breakfast cheese named onerammergauer, alpe krauter deliqatesse. frustuck, kase. the funny part is by the time are you done saying it they have invaded your country. (laughter) clearly, clearly german comedy has got ena bad rap so tonight i'm going to clear the german's good name, here to tickle your funny bones, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome german ambassador to the united nations, the honorable hans beinholtz. (cheers and applause)
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last night i left the toilet seat up. my wife was enraged. (laughter) dom es 'tis sit a cage of our own invention. this guy knows what i'm talking about. (laughter) what is the nature of grape nuts. they are neither grapes nor nuts. and so the sad farce continues. (laughter)
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is there anyone here on a first date? love is an empty promise. (laughter) today you are young, holding hands, thinking of the future. tomorrow, you are clutching a cadaver of your lover. (laughter) am i right, ladies? (laughter) (applause) that is my time. that is all our time. for life is fleeting and cruel. the aristocrats. >> stephen: hines beinholtz,
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everybody. he will be in the city animal shelter euthanizing room follow. we'll be right back.
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>> welcome back, everybody. my guest tonight has written a book about where our beliefs come from. the belief fairy. please welcome michael shermer. (cheers and applause) good to see you. thanks for coming back. >> great to be back. >> you are the founding publisher of skeptic magazine. you have a new book called the beliefing brain, from goess and gods it to politics and conspiracys, how we construct beliefs and reinforce them as truths. what is it about our brains that makes us give such long titles to them? (laughter) believing brain, what dow mean believing brain. >> well, the rule on that is something to tell you what the book is about. what it is about is how our briefs are formed first, for a variety of social, psychological, personal, emotional, subjective
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reasons and then we find the evidence to fit it. our brains are like lawyers, not scientists. our brains want to lawyer the data to fit our beliefs. isn't it nice -- >> are our brains charging us by the hour. >> yes, they are expensivement isn't it nice we can use that word as a known and verdict. we marshal the facts to fit our beliefs that we already hold. if are you a conservative you read "the wall street journal," you listen conservative talk radio and filter everything, and only find and remember the things that support what you already believe. if are you a liberal you read "the new york times", listen to progressive talk radio cash did -- i guess nobody does, you listen npr and you find all the facts that fit that and everybody has the data. so who is right. and so the only way to tell really the difference between these true patterns and false patterns is science. >> stephen: really? >> really. >> stephen: you think science is the answer. >> yeah, i'm not joke being that. >> stephen: you're not jock being science but isn't that just your belief? are you a skeptic, you are inclined to believe that skepticism, the scientific
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method is the right idea but that is so that you look for evidence out there in the world that evidence is a good thing to look for and you -- it is the periodic table element. >> so i can -- but isn't science is just another belief system. >> it is another belief system but it sets apart from all the other belief systems because it has built into it self-correcting machinery that says if you don't look for your disconfirming evidence that debunks your own belief, somebody else will, usually with great plea in a published form. >> what is debunking, what is so good about debunking. what is wrong with budgeting. why must things be debunked. >> because there is a lot of budget. there is a lot of nonsense, bad science, voodoo science, pathological science, nonscience and plane old nonsense t is all over the place. most of the stuff we hear is in the true. unfortunately our brains evolve to assume that most of the patterns we see are true. whatever we see and hear especially on television f it's visual, emotionally salient we hook on it and say must be true, i heard
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it. >> if it rhymes, it is probably true. is that the pattern we perceive that pattern. >> correct. >> stephen: if the glove does not fit, you must acquit. that is how we knew that juice was innocent. >> yes so here's how this -- here is how this works. so imagine you are a homidid on the plains of africa and you hear a russell in the grass. is it a dangerous predator or just the wind. >> stephen: it's a snake, kill it. >> that's right, absolutely right because if you assume it is just the wind, you are lunch. >> stephen: right. >> are you likely, right. >> stephen: it's not the wind t is a snake or a tiger. >> most of the patterns we find -- it is very dangerous. and that is where we volume of the. >> stephen: that's good then so it's a good thing to have beliefs and if we just have skepticism we go let's go overcome children, let's see what that russelling sound is, we would all be dead. you're trying to kill court children.
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why should -- what about religion. we also have received -- truths from god that can be corrected by god's prophets. >> the problem with that is that there are so many prophets and they conflict with each other. >> stephen: the -- >> what kind of experiment could we run to tell the difference between whether this is the one true religion or this is. the answer is none, there is none. >> stephen: there is one day of experiment -- experimentation, judgement day. >> we'll find out. >> stephen: i will be ready with my lab coat on. >> i have a whole section to what i would say to god if it turns out i'm wrong and there is a god. >> stephen: first of all, hand me my asbestos coat. >> well? you are arguing from the side --. >> stephen: you used to be a christian. >> that's right. >> stephen: jesus misses you. >> all right. >> jon: he --. >> stephen: he told me. >> why doesn't he talk to me. >> stephen: because you don't believe.
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>> but if being talked to depends on whether i believe or not that means it doesn't really exist, it's all up here in my head which is the point in my book which it is all up here. >> stephen: oh, book. michael shermer thank you so much. the book is the beliefing brain. we'll be right back. what's up, smart? oh, just booked a summer vaycay. ooo. sounds pricey? nah, with the hotels.com summer sale, you can find awesome deals for places nearby. interesting... wow, i'm blown away. you look great.
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hotels.com summer sale, save up to 30%. and get a free kindle. hotels.com. be smart. book smart.

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